T: Taking Time for Tears

When I began this A-Z Challenge, my mom had just died.  I needed a distraction from the grief…and this challenge has been a good distracter.  I’ve been able to joke around here, let my mind wonder, and take a timeout.

When a tragedy hits your life, the how to deal with it part is up to you.  Everyone’s process is different and if anyone says they have a sure-fire way to get past the grief, I’d  have to disagree.  There’s no prescription.  There’s no timeline.

After the funeral was over, I didn’t want to think about what had just happened.  I kept my mind busy.  Blogging 6 days a week instead of 2 or 3 added that extra level of busy that I needed.  And then came yesterday…when I decided that I WAS ready to think about it, write about it…

…and to try and understand the one thing that has been haunting me these past 4 weeks.  THIS:

Akiane Kramarik: Infinite-Eye

Source: Akiane Kramarik

Allow me to rewind…to 4 weeks ago, today.

My dad phoned, saying that I needed to come home right away.  When I arrived, my mom was clearly dying, in a hospital bed, in the middle of our living room.  A priest was there giving Catholic Last Rights.  Also in the room were hospice  nurses, a social worker, and a few other people.  It was a chaotic scene.

A short while later, my mom was struggling for breath.  One of us grabbed her hand, started to cry hysterically, and yelled “Don’t go!  We need you here!  Don’t leave us!”

Her breathing calmed.  She opened her eyes wide, and stayed that way for 2 1/2 days, never closing them, rarely blinking. 

“What is she looking at?” we would ask.

“Oh, she’s probably not seeing anything; she might be blacked out.”

“But why doesn’t she close them for even a minute?  She’s been awake only 6-8 hours a day for the past year, and now she can’t sleep at all?  It doesn’t make any sense!”

“Honestly, I don’t know,” the nurse would say.  “It happens sometimes.” 

We’d repeat this conversation many times.  My sister, dad, and I would take turns sitting up with her over those 60+ hours, feeling guilty for sleeping when she was awake.

“I think she’s looking AT something,” I said.  “It doesn’t seem like she’s blacked out.  She looks mesmerized.  Dad…I think she’s seeing ….um…I think she’s seeing angles, or heaven, or whatever’s on the other side.”

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back [Book]“I don’t know,” he said.  “It could be anything.”

Cut back to yesterday, Good Friday.  Along with a condolence card, my friend Amy sent me the book “Heaven is for Real,” by Todd Burpo.  With Easter almost here, I decided to read it.

I won’t spoil the plot, but the book is about a little boy who swears that he died went to heaven for 3 minutes while in surgery.  He describes heaven, its colors, and certain set of eyes.  The book includes a black and white portrait of the person with the eyes. 

After reading the last page, I turned to the picture. 

I saw my mom looking back at me…the eyes were HER eyes…the eyes that she had during those last 2 1/2 days.  And that’s when I cried. 

As strange as it may seem, I believe that my suspicion was true.  She was looking at something so indescribably beautiful,that she never again wanted to be in the dark.  She was ready for the place where darkness never comes.

And there you have it.

Have a Blessed Easter, everyone.

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18 responses to this post.

  1. God comforted you in your grief. Blessings to you, Tracy…

    Reply

  2. I am storing these types of glimpses from bloggers in my mind’s tape. My parents a 87 and live with me and am sole caretaker. There is no other family. They manage well and I drive and cook. When one passes what will I do with the other?” Or as the decline progresses? I am not looking forward to all this so I will draw from your strength and that of others who can share without “poor me” and display genuine wisdom and poetic courage as you have.

    Reply

  3. That is beautiful! I noticed the same thing when my Dad was dying,
    Blessings,
    Chris

    Reply

  4. Posted by Sheila on April 23, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I just read HEAVEN IS FOR REAL. It was an awesome Easter book. THe kids are listening to it too-great conversation piece. IT brought tears to my eyes. THose tears can be very cathartic. Thinking of you.

    Reply

  5. Tears are so good…so cleansing or as a good friend of mine says, another face of the Goddess.

    Reply

  6. Posted by 1959duke on April 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

    You are so right about people must deal with grief in their own way. When people start this garbage about they should be showing emotion. I know when I lost my dad and two of his brothers within a period of about 8 months by the time my last Uncle died the emotions where just gone. Not because we loved him any less but family members were just drained. You were there for her at the end. That is not a small matter at all.

    Reply

  7. Hi Tracy .. this is lovely and a wonderful tribute to your mother .. what a lovely way to go .. to prepare for all that wonder ahead .. what a wonderful story too .. I’d heard about the book and must get it at some stage ..

    Be at peace .. may your life be blessed as you balance things out .. with thoughts – Hilary

    Reply

  8. “As strange as it may seem, I believe that my suspicion was true. She was looking at something so indescribably beautiful,that she never again wanted to be in the dark. She was ready for the place where darkness never comes.”

    I believe that too, my friend.

    Thank you so much for sharing this Tracy. This post touched my heart very deeply.

    (((( Tracy )))))

    Have a blessed Easter.

    X

    P.S. I will look for this book because it sounds wonderful!

    Reply

  9. This gave me chills. And now I want to read that book! I do believe in heaven…I believe life on Earth is only the beginning. And that you will see her again someday.

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  10. Things come into our lives at the right time, Tracy. This book is proof. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time.

    I hadn’t heard of this book before. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Reply

  11. This is a beautiful post, Tracy. I agree that God has a way of bringing comfort, that only He can bring at such times. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.

    Reply

  12. Carol Ann, Carl, Sheila, Chris, Joanne, Mike, Hilary, Ron, Stephanie, Laura, and Patti – THANK YOU ALL for reading, understanding, and BLESSINGS to you all on this Easter Day!!

    Reply

  13. Posted by Melanie on April 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Tracy-Beautifully said. I really enjoy your posts-you truly have a gift in your writing abilities. My thoughts are with you. Melanie

    Reply

  14. I believe it, too, Tracy. My brother’s last two days he saw people from the past, visited places, and did things he told us about and he was not at all afraid to leave. He begged Jesus to take him for days. The fact of who he saw and the things he said during his final days gave me great comfort.

    Reply

  15. Hi Tracy. When my husband died 13 years ago I filled my days with busyness. Went back to work 2 weeks later and shied away from ‘there’. Everyone said how well I was coping. Two years later I hit the wall and really broke down.
    Yes, we all have to grieve in our own time and in our own way. There is no right way or right length of time.
    I am glad you have now found some comfort. But this grieving process can be long and drawn out. Don’t try to rush it.

    Reply

  16. PS– Got the book you sent me today. Super chic! Thanks! (=

    Reply

  17. From your writing I can hear that you journeyed some in your grief. I agree: sometimes a little bit of time need to pass before you’re ready to face it, but once you have… then you’re truly free to move beyond it. Some people “move on” by sweeping it under a rug and somehow it always continue to steal vitality and peace. That is not ‘moving on’. I’ve often needed some time to deal with things and have felt condemned – like a weakling – because of those who just “pull themselves together” or “put on their big girl panties”. But I’ve realized a few things about life and about myself since. And BOY, OH BOY!! When it is done, then it is done – THAT is true freedom… for me anyway. It sounds like you’re well on your way… healing and moving forward with her precious memory safely cherished in the backpack of your heart: ready for a new journey (even though you may always miss her from time to time) 🙂 All of what happens to us defines “living”. We laugh in the sun and we learn to dance in the rain… eventually… and we overcome!

    Reply

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